Lessons All Around

By Jim McCloskey

The ingenuity of the folks at the National Swimming Pool Foundation makes me smile.

If you’ll recall, I wrote several months ago about Tom Lachocki’s election-season declaration that it was time to donate to something, anything other than candidates for office.  His suggestion was to divert political contributions toward the funding of swim lessons for children – which seemed, amid the fall’s welter of campaign ads, a much more productive way to effect real change.

Loved that thought – and now I’ve received information on a new program.  This one,  jointly sponsored by NSPF and the American Red Cross, offers homeowners with pools on their properties all the information they need to create safe environments for swimmers of all ages.  Better yet, there’s a small charge for the service:  Just enough so that the information being offered will take on value and significance.

Called “Home Pool Essentials:  Maintenance and Safety,” the $19.95 program includes six months’ access to an online course, a printable resource guide and, for those who need them (including daycare workers and group-home managers, among others), records of completion to share with insurance carriers.

The core of the program is a two-hour video on the basics of pool and hot-tub maintenance along with strategies for creating safer pool/spa environments.  Its plentiful stock of information not only makes pool and hot tub care easier for homeowners, but also teaches them how to prevent, plan for and respond to emergencies in and around pools.

To take a closer look at the program, click here.  Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like this would be a great gift to pass along with the completion of every pool/spa project, whether it’s new construction or a renovation.


Is it something in the water?  As I mentioned in my last blog, a few of the watershapes I’ve covered in Travelogues for the WaterShapes EXTRA newsletter have either just been renovated or are in the process of being repaired and/or upgraded.

Since then, there’s been some great news about Rome’s Trevi Fountain:  In response to its recent weather-related deterioration, the famed Italian design firm Fendi is putting up millions toward getting the structure and sculptures back in shape.

Then came more news:  Now it seems that the grand fountain system at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa., is to be the subject of massive refurbishing and will be out of commission for quite a while as its 1920s- and ’30-vintage technology is brought up to date.  And I was getting all set to cover some of Kansas City’s spectacular public fountains when I read that the city was trying to figure out where to get the money to restore several that have stopped functioning.

It’s starting to seem a bit like the Sports Illustrated curse:  As with the numerous athletes who, singled out for SI cover stories, immediately drift into alarming slumps in whatever sport they pursue, can it be coincidence that so many of the watershapes covered in Travelogues end up behind chain link and scaffolds?

Spooky.  But at least the news about upgrading these watershapes is positive!

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